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The Wonder That Was India: 1 Paperback – 15 Dec 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Product description

About the Author

Arthur Llewellyn Basham was an Indologist and a professor at London's School of Oriental and African Studies. He was born in 1914 in Essex. His father had served in the Indian Army and told him a lot of stories about India that sparked an interest in him about the country. The author obtained a degree in Sanskrit from the School of Oriental and African Studies, did a doctorate at the School of Oriental and African studies and later became a Professor at that college. In 1965, Basham left SOAS to join the Australia National University, where he became the Head of the History Department and also Professor of Oriental Civilizations.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Indian ed edition (15 December 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033043909X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330439091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.1 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great work on history by Basham but the piece of the book delivered to me was in such a deplorable condition that it seemed like it was an old book. All the illustrated pages were stuck together with glue, it was probably a factory defect not
checked during packaging of the product. I had to self return the book paying Rs.180 as shipping charges and standing in a que at post office wasting my time to ship it back. Never expected this from a global company.. I would suggest Amazon to improve their quality control service...
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As a young kid, AL Basham was always fascinated by the stories of a mysterious land far away - stories told by his father who lived near Shimla as a british journalist. His deep interest in the history and religions of Indian subcontinent made him work for a PhD under another prominent historian of that time, L.D. Barnett. He went further to hold professorships at various institutes, finally coming to "Oriental Studies at the Asiatic Society of Calcutta".

I believe no one ever summarized Indian history in a depth surpassing the level Basham has gone in "The Wonder that was India". From the early civilizations in the west to invasion of Aryans and early ages of "Hindu" society, you will experience what we are told in the school days was just a half baked story, hiding the details that may change your view created by the present political activities.

In the book, AL Basham has explained the passage of kings, formation and re-formation of religions, making of the norms of society and gives a perfect picture of what India was like when the Mughals first saw it. “If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.", quoted Michael Crichton. You gotta read this book.
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Format: Paperback
This one is a classic on the subject. No one can match the deep observation of AL Basham on the subject. His sincere involvement in the subject reflects well in his writings in this book. The language and the structure of the subject matter is outstanding. One can read it again and again.
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As expected the package arrived days in advance, the quality of the pages seemed a bit dull but hey its a history book ;). About the book, it's a magisterial work on ancient Indian history which cuts across the conventional methods of historiography and mainstream methods of narration. If you are a history buff you must read this.
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It the bestest books in Ancient Indian History. Salute to Authors Hard work. This book covers rare of rarest information. Mandatory of UPSC aspirants especially of History optional. Although Every house should have this to know about the Wonder that was India.
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A historical tour de force that reads like a novel. I'm simply in love with the authors writing style.My only grouse is the absence of a hardcover version. Seriously, such a piece of work deserves better quality paper, better quality of printing and a hardback option with pagemarker.Picador needs to give it a thought. This book is way precious to be sold as a paperback.
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As UPSC is focussing more and more on cultural history rather than on political history this book may be highly significant for your preparation. But since it is a very bulky and time consuming book, prefer to read only the cultural history and art and architecture part from this book.
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I expected a more interesting and readable account of the history of India and it was a bit disappointing on the whole. Yes there are pages that will keep your interest but this is one large tome that is perhaps not for reading at one go.
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